Homemade Horchata

One of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is go to the farmers market, walk around and take it all in, and drink freshly made horchata.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

At the farmers market, I load up on a ridiculous amount of seasonal fruits and vegetables.

My eyes are always bigger than my stomach and my refrigerator storage drawer.

The treat of the day is usually homemade horchata.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

The local vendors offer more free samples than Costco.

They make everything from hibiscus punch to watermelon juice to mango salad…

…along with their fabulous homemade fresh horchata.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

When I was in Mexico City last summer, I also had some amazing horchata from the markets and street food vendors.

This was a life-changing day. So incredibly powerful; a day I will never forget as long as I live. Some of the things I saw, oh boy.

There was so much to see and so much food to eat.

I started researching recipes and came across a Rick Bayless recipe for horchata.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

It seems that most people make horchata with almonds but I generally prefer cashews to almonds because cashews are creamier, they’re more neutral-tasting, and they blend much better and more easily.

The blending part is key because I didn’t want to be bothered with straining this or bothering with a cheesecloth, which is why I used cashews.

The vanilla flavor was very pronounced and there was a hint of cinnamon present.

The horchata was sweet, creamy, milky, and I had to restrain from drinking about 19 ounces of horchata at once.

It’s that good and this is going to become a staple.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!


A Visual Guide

Put the cashews (or almonds) into the Vita-Mix or blender canister with rice, water, and a cinnamon stick and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the cinnamon stick, add sweetener and vanilla…

Blend, blend, blend…


Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

And try not to drink the whole batch at once.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

Refrigerate excess (if you mange to have any and haven’t drank it all directly from the Vita-Mix canister).

I was classier than that.

I used a straw and a mason jar.

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

Homemade Horchata (vegan, GF) - This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

Print Print Recipe

Homemade Horchata (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

This creamy, smooth, nourishing & healthy beverage is as easy to make as turning on your blender!

Yield: about 7 cups

Prep Time: 8 to 12 hours, soak time

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 8 to 12 hours


1 cup raw cashews (or use raw or blanched almonds)

2/3 cup white rice, uncooked (medium or long-grain preferred)

2 1/2 cups water + 3 cups water

one 3-inch cinnamon stick

2/3 cup granulated sugar, or to taste*

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (increase to 1 teaspoon, or to taste, if you love vanilla)


  1. In a large blender canister, Vita-Mix canister, or large bowl combine cashews, uncooked rice, 2 1/2 cups warm tap water, cinnamon stick, cover and place in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.
  2. Remove canister from the refrigerator, remove the cinnamon stick, and blend the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes on high speed, or until blended as smoothly as possible.
  3. Add sugar (to taste), vanilla extract, 3 cups more water and blend again for 2 more minutes, or until mixture is as smooth as possible.
  4. If desired, strain horchata through a sieve or cheesecloth (I did not find it necessary as the cashews blended incredibly smoothly in my Vita-Mix). Serve immediately as is, over ice, or refrigerate and serve chilled, shaking before if mixture has separated. Horchata will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days; use common sense.
  5. Notes: I used traditional recipes here and here and here as reference for the sugar (and they use more than I did). You may wish to start with 1/3 cup sugar, and increase from there if you prefer something less sweet. You can use another form of sweetener, to taste. All amounts are to taste. If you are serving over ice, it will also water down and become less sweet, something to keep in mind. This is a sweet beverage; it's not supposed to be "barely sweet"; it's supposed to be sweet. If you prefer a thinner horchata increase the amount of water, to taste, or strain it. Whatever blender you use, blend, blend, blend. Depending on type of blender used, and taste preferences, strain if desired.
  6. Ideas: Use over cereal, in oatmeal, in smoothies, make ice cubes with it for iced coffee, bake with it in place of recipes calling for nut or rice milk, use it as coffee creamer, add chocolate sauce for chocolate "milk", freeze it for 2 hours or until barely frozen for a slushy-ice cream treat; add 1 ounce of Baileys, Kahlua, or Vanilla Vodka, etc. to 4 to 6 ounces of Horchta and ice cubes, shake/stir and serve.

Another beverage that’s incredibly easy to make is kefir. Three ingredients, let it sit on your countertop for a day while the good bacteria do their work, and serve.

Coconut Milk Kefir (gluten free, vegan)

You could also make smoothies such as a Pineapple Banana and Coconut Cream Smoothie with horchata rather than using coconut milk or another type of milk.


138 Responses to “Homemade Horchata”

  1. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — March 14, 2012 at 7:52 am (#

    I’m in love with these bright white pictures! Horchata is something I’ve always wanted to make (and try, I’ve never even had it!) b/c I know I’ll love it.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 7:55 am (#

      That would be the fastest comment ever award :)

    • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — March 14, 2012 at 7:56 am (#

      haha you must’ve popped up in my reader just as I was going through it. good timing :)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 8:01 am (#

      I took off some plugin on my site that was causing allllll kinds of issues (only took a year to figure out which one) and since then my site’s feed seems to be hitting Google Reader almost instantly, rather than in 5 to 45 minutes. I better not type any more because this is one of those knock on wood things. Lol

      But I think we’ve talked feeds/timing in the past so just geeking out with you :)

  2. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — March 14, 2012 at 7:54 am (#

    I’ve never tried horchata but love cashews, vanilla, and cinnamon – definitely on my list of recipes to try!

  3. katie @ KatieDid — March 14, 2012 at 7:59 am (#

    When my roommate traveled to Puerto Rico last year she came back with all sorts of recipes to share, horchata being one of them, and I had never heard of it up until then. Yours looks fantastic, and I really want to try making it. Also- I had no idea nut milks were that simple to make (always thought you had to strain etc.) but I am so trying my own almond milk asap. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 8:02 am (#

      You know, there are people who will but it’s based on your tastes, your blender, and if you are okay with some thickness. If you want “paper thin” milk, i.e. like grocery store skim milk, this is not that.

      If you want something thicker like full fat coconut milk or half and half, this is more like that. Keep me posted!

  4. Brooke — March 14, 2012 at 8:34 am (#

    Beautiful photo’s, only you could make a mason jar and white liquid look stunning.


  5. Katie — March 14, 2012 at 8:48 am (#

    I LOVE horchata! I actually thought it was just rice though, I had no idea there were other nuts in there. I’ve clearly not done my horchata research. I’ve mostly just had it at mexican restaurants and used the instnat packets from the grocery store. I’m lazy like that. But, I do have some cashews and I’m thinking maybe this would be good without the rice. (Not a rice fan.) and with my brown sugar cinnamon coffee syrup.

    Oh, baby.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 9:03 am (#

      I’m not a big rice lover either; you can’t taste it but I really think it does help and is important. Use less than I did or else you basically just have nut milk on your hands which is fine too but I wouldn’t steer you wrong…try it just once with the rice :)

  6. Liz @ Southern Charm — March 14, 2012 at 8:48 am (#

    It is something I have always wanted to try, but I’ve never done so. You make it sound so simple, maybe I should just do it :)

  7. Jen @ pretty plate — March 14, 2012 at 8:54 am (#

    I love going to the farmers market too. One of my favorite destinations. I have never tried horchata but it looks so light and refreshing! I would love to try this one day!!

    : ))

  8. Anna @ On Anna's Plate — March 14, 2012 at 9:01 am (#

    I’ve never had horchata…but it sounds delicious!! Mail me some?! ;-)

  9. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan — March 14, 2012 at 9:02 am (#

    I AODRE horchata! (Which is why I put a raw version in my cookbook, of course) This looks amazing…but dangerous. I’m likely to drink it all at once…

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 9:05 am (#

      As I have been reading your cookbook (like most people read novels, page by page, really studying each and every page and recipe), I have seen recipes for tons of things I already make, made, or have in my to-be-published drafts. This one has been waiting for almost a month…so I was chuckling when I saw your recipe the other day in the book :)

  10. Ambika — March 14, 2012 at 9:08 am (#

    Hey Averie! This sounds delightful, I have never had this before! And you have a beautiful space, love your photographs! So glad to be your new follower!

  11. Deirdre — March 14, 2012 at 9:34 am (#

    If I had the time I would Pin every single one of your photos. There is such a clarity in your photography I come back everyday for more.

    I’ve never tried horchata, but you made it look so easy, I just may…and the glass stray = envy.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 9:38 am (#

      Thanks so much, Deirdre. That is my goal, to make the pics look online as good as the food looked in person; some days with better success than others…haha! Thanks for your support, as always!

  12. Jenny — March 14, 2012 at 9:38 am (#

    My husband loves horchata. I will have try this. Good call using the cashews! I hate messing with cheesecloth, too.

  13. Amber K — March 14, 2012 at 11:03 am (#

    I had actually never even heard of horchata before. I have heard of kefir, but I’ve never tried it. I have had cultured coconut milk, which I just recently tried. The only nut milk I’ve tried is almond, but my stomach doesn’t tolerate it well. Cashews are a great replacement for almonds in recipes!

  14. Heather (Where's the Beach) — March 14, 2012 at 11:03 am (#

    I’ve never heard of horchata. Sounds very interesting. Love cashews, so how could it be bad?? And honestly, even if I don’t like something, you make it look so darn good!

  15. Christine (The Raw Project) — March 14, 2012 at 11:07 am (#

    What an awesome recipe, I’ve never tried horchata! This looks like a lot of fun!

    You Mexico city trip looked like such fun, I’d live to sneak away on a trip like that!

  16. Jacqueline@digintobooks — March 14, 2012 at 11:48 am (#

    These pictures are BEAUTIFUL! Love the white on white with the cinnamon sticks-they are all so pretty. Never tried Horchata but after seeing those pictures and reading the ingredients, I think I just might have to.

  17. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — March 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm (#

    Oh, wow! I’ve never had Horchata but I’ve been obsessively pounding the homemade cashew milk lately, so I think I will definitely love this. I’ll definitely be trying this and I definitely think I’ll have no self-control with it!

  18. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — March 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm (#

    I have never tried horchata before. It sounds delicious with cashews. Your pictures look beautiful!

  19. Nicole — March 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm (#

    I want to try my hand at making cinnamon pistachio nut butter. I’ve been deterred by the shelling of the pistachios. That hurts my fingers after a while! Plus I like unsalted nuts and the shelled unsalted are hard to find. I suppose it would be a good rainy day activity!

  20. claire @ the realistic nutritionist — March 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm (#

    Could your photos be any prettier??? Love this! I’ve never had it but I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  21. Tamizn — March 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm (#

    I have only had the Horchata they make in spain which is made from tiger nut milk and I LOVE IT!!!!!! Especially on a hot summers day : )

  22. Paula — March 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm (#

    Your pics look as good as your recipe sounds! I’ve never had horchata but rice-cashew milk with sugar and spice sounds yummy. Also nice not to have to strain it. I love to make my own nut butters and I’m a mixer. Almond-cashew or almond-macadamia are my favorites (often with a handful of pecans or pistachios in there too).

  23. Toddie — March 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm (#

    Really nice – everything- so enjoyed!

  24. Patricia — March 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm (#

    I’ve never even had horchata but this looks delicious and easy. I will have to try it. thanks for posting!

  25. lindsay — March 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm (#

    wow! i need to hit up that farmers market. Or just come to your house and have you serve it up with ANY of your delicious treats. Great recipe Averie. A keeper for sure!

  26. vanillasugarblog — March 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm (#

    i do miss those cali farmers markets.
    i mean they are huge
    you should see our farmers markets here, small and sad

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm (#

      I know. I grew up in MN then Chicago. Farmers “market” in MN means like 10 vendors sometimes!

  27. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm (#

    What a fabulous sounding drink! Awesome idea!

  28. Luv What You do — March 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm (#

    My boyfriend loves horchata!!! I never even thought to make it.

    Can’t wait for the farmer’s markets! It was over 70 degrees in Chicago today. Hooray!

  29. Marina — March 14, 2012 at 8:19 pm (#

    I am hooked, this one I have not made yet. I do make my own almond milk (when I can find a raw almonds, roasted don’t taste the same), sunflower butter, rice milk, walnut spread. I am waiting for my kefir grains to arrive to start making kefir, love this drink! With kefir life is different: happy and sunny (inside)!

  30. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — March 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm (#

    I don’t care for Horchata, but my friend loves it. I should ask her to bring in some white rice tomorrow and I’ll bring in the rest of the ingredients, than we can make it at work and have it the next day! She would love that and it would be a great Friday treat!!

  31. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — March 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm (#

    I hadn’t even heard of horchata until now!

  32. Katie — March 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm (#

    I swear, it’s never a good idea to look at your blog when I’m hungry. Haha, it always feels like a tease! ;)
    I’ve never heard about horchata, but I HAVE to make it and try it out now that you’ve mentioned it! :)

  33. Deborah — March 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm (#

    I’ve always steered clear of horchata, because I’ve only seen it kind of chunky from the rice. I’m a texture person, so I thought I wouldn’t like it, but I think I need to try your version if it is smooth!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 11:54 pm (#

      Well the Vitamix got it SUPER smooth but of course, your mileage may vary based on blender used :)

  34. Michele Sparrow — March 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm (#

    Remember how you said we could switch kitchens cause we are on the same wavelength so often? Well, this morning, my oldest said “We should make our own Horchata. I’m sure it would be healthier and less expensive.” I kid you not. SO…..I bought all the ingredients after I was done tripping out about your post! Recipe on the agenda for tomorrow! :-)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 11:55 pm (#

      Ok keep me posted and that’s beyond trippy!

      My daughter told me yesterday she wanted dinner to be grilled. I said honey we don’t have a grill. She said, but people in Mexico do. I said yes, they probably do. She said, well we should go to Mexico then! lol

  35. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — March 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm (#

    Can I just start by telling you how amazing you are? I had no idea that you could make horchata at home. I’ve always thought that I needed some super secret ingredients or something but that’s not the case at all! I don’t even like horchata but I am stoked to make this because Jason (the boyfriend) is obsessed with horchata. He’s going to be thrilled when he comes home to homemade horchata! And best of all, I just got a new blender and a box of Mason jars.

    I really think it’s fate that I came across this recipe today :)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 at 11:55 pm (#

      Wow that’s a pretty cool twist of fate and please keep me posted if you make it!

  36. susie — March 15, 2012 at 4:54 am (#

    I want to make this so bad, but first I have a dumb question. Is the rice cooked or raw? I’ve made nut milks before, but they don’t have rice. Think I have all the ingredients on hand, but don’t know about the rice. I’ve never heard of this drink at all, but it sound delicious. Love all your recipes and the pictures are spectacular. Always makes me hungry!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 15, 2012 at 7:44 am (#

      raw and then soak it overnight with the cashews like I indicated in the recipe and pictures, then blend the next day.

  37. Calee (@chimes) — March 15, 2012 at 7:45 am (#

    I apparently am the only person in healthy-blogger-land who’s not tried this. I need to try it! Thanks for sharing an easy recipe.

  38. LiztheChef — March 15, 2012 at 9:24 am (#

    LOVE this – my favorite recipe of yours so far – would love to run into you at one of our local Farmers Markets. Which is your favorite?

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 15, 2012 at 9:34 am (#

      Usually H.C. but sometimes M.H.’s

      Haven’t been in ages though…been too chilly and bad timing. But spring/summer is right around the corner! Once we get past the dreary weather today.

  39. Bree — March 15, 2012 at 9:47 am (#

    My kids love horchata. I call it liquid crack ;). Great post!

  40. SaucyPants — March 15, 2012 at 11:36 am (#

    I love horchata!!! Thank you for sharing!

  41. Vaishnavi — March 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm (#

    Hi, I found your blog through foodgawker. I have never heard of horchata before. I make almond milk myself and it is bit tedious as I have to strain each time. But yours is a very easy recipe. It will be a keeper for me. Thanks a lot for sharing. Navi.

  42. Yvette ~ Muy Bueno Cookbook — March 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm (#

    I LOVE horchata! We grew up with it and I crave it every summer. We make ours with rice and it could be quite the process. I just might have to try your variation when I don’t want to grind up rice and strain ;)

    Your photos are beautiful and that farmers market looks amazing!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 16, 2012 at 9:46 am (#

      Thanks, Yvette, and if you do try my version, would love to hear about it!

  43. Sarah @ The Healthy Diva — March 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm (#

    For some reason i thought horchata was made with cooked rice. anywho it looks delish! I need to invest in a nut milk bag because my non-dairy milk consumption is getting out of hand (and quite expensive!)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 16, 2012 at 9:46 am (#

      And I didn’t even strain this; no nut milk bag for me required on this one. To each her own, of course, regarding straining.

  44. Tracey — March 15, 2012 at 6:41 pm (#

    I’ve never had horchata but I’m really intrigued after reading your post! I think I need a better blender before I tackle it. And wow, is your farmer’s market ever awesome, I’m jealous :)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 16, 2012 at 9:47 am (#

      Yes, I will admit, that without a Vita, not sure how smooth this gets, but with the Vita, it’s….heavenly!

  45. Lisa Marie — March 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm (#

    I’ve never had horchata before. It looks delish! And those are some awesome looking pineapple! Wow!

  46. Carrie — March 16, 2012 at 8:30 am (#

    Thank you for posting the horchata recipe! I made it yesterday with almonds and we LOVE it! It’s perfect for me since I dislike a full breakfast meal and the almonds are quite filling. So excited to find this, thanks again!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 16, 2012 at 9:47 am (#

      Thanks for the report back! Yes, I have made almond milk like this (but without the rice) before, too. Glad to hear you had success with the almonds + rice!

  47. susan — March 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm (#

    I need a Vitamix! My family would drink gallons of this!

  48. Theresa — March 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm (#

    I would love to try & make this. Love your blender! I want to get a better one. Thanks for your recent visit & I was happy to share your smoothie. I am happy to have found your site. Have a great week ahead!

  49. Dorothée — March 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm (#

    I’ve never heard of this before but it looks so great (and sounds so yummy) that I definitely want to try, hoping that my small blender will do the job. But I have a silly question to ask : is the rice cooked or raw when you combine it in the canister with all the ingredients ? Thanks for your answer and for the great recipe !

  50. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — March 30, 2012 at 8:53 am (#

    Looks delicious!! Thanks for the mention Averie :)

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